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At Home: If you can dress, you can decorate

Marni Jameson explains the parallels between dressing and decorating.
By Marni Jameson, For The Oklahoman Published: February 4, 2013
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/articleid/3751566/1/pictures/1942951">Photo - New York designer Elaine Griffin dresses like she decorates. Here she mixes tone and textures, pairing a satin top and cashmere sweater, and slick glossy framed chairs with velvet-upholstered seats.  Photo courtesy of Elaine Griffin
New York designer Elaine Griffin dresses like she decorates. Here she mixes tone and textures, pairing a satin top and cashmere sweater, and slick glossy framed chairs with velvet-upholstered seats. Photo courtesy of Elaine Griffin

• The style. Are you more Jackie Onassis or Lady Gaga, more RuPaul or Mitt Romney? Your taste in clothes — classic, funky, eccentric, tailored — should carry through to your home. Don't dress like someone you aren't, and don't decorate like a fraud either.

• The basics. Foundation pieces anchor both outfits and rooms. In clothes, foundation items are the skirt or slacks, the dress or suit. In a room they're the main upholstered pieces: sofas, chairs, or bedding.

• Pops of color. Every outfit and every room needs a spike of color. A teal tie or citron scarf, sherbet orange pillows or raspberry lampshades.

• The bling. A touch of sparkle completes both an ensemble and an interior. It doesn't have to be much, but it does have to reflect light. Metallic buckles on shoes or belts, a ring that glimmers, a wrist watch or bangle bracelet does for an outfit, what a crystal bowl, silver candlesticks, or a mirror does for a room.

• The wrap. Jackets and outerwear are to outfits what drapes are to rooms, says Griffin, they're the finishing wrap that completes the package.

• Combine textures. A little cashmere here, a little satin there, rooms like outfits need contrasting finishes. Put sleek with rough, shiny with matte, and soft with hard.

• Lay it out. When putting together an outfit, it helps to lay the clothes out swapping out tops or ties, earrings and belts, until the ensemble clicks. Putting a design board together with paint swatches, floor samples and fabric clippings lets you visualize a room the same way.

Now go and put some clothes on that room.

Syndicated columnist and speaker Marni Jameson is the author of “House of Havoc” and “The House Always Wins” (Da Capo Press). Contact her through www.marnijameson.com.


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